While my son, Justin, and I have been working on the 19th book of The Adirondack Kids® series of children’s books, a good friend of ours has just released his first!
The Snowy Owl Caper was written by Mark Manske, a true expert on birds prey.
For nearly twenty years Mark was a science teacher at Brasher Falls Central School. He hails from Dickinson Center just north of the Adirondack ‘Blue Line’ where he established his Adirondack Raptors, Inc. ten years ago. He is now an adjunct professor at Paul smith College as well.
We met Mark several years ago when searching for unique educational features for the Adirondack Kids Day™ event for families which is held every year in Inlet, New York, the first Saturday of October.
Mark fit the bill perfectly. (no pun intended!) Raptor expert with years of experience doing presentations before ‘live’ audiences and with a variety of ‘live’ birds of prey.
At our event Mark engaged people of all ages immediately. An imposing presence at well over six feet tall marching up and down the aisle with a large raptor in his hand, he is impossible to ignore. And while he walks, he talks, and with years of knowledge and personal experience in forest and field washing over everyone.
Late last summer upon returning from my hikes of Boreas and Sunrise mountains with trailheads at Elk Lake Lodge in North Hudson, New York*, I heard a familiar voice out on the lodge grounds. I turned a corner still lugging my pack on back and there was Mark mesmerizing a deck full of adults with an owl soaring from his arm.
One of our favorite parts of his presentation at Adirondack Kids Day™ is when he invites children forward to interact with one of his birds. One year it was an American Kestral. Another year, a Barn Owl. And now he has the first of what he hopes to be a new series of children’s books to share with them!
The Adventures with Stoney series of which the Owl Caper is volume one will be based on many of his personal experiences, but will also include happenings of those he has known through the years. In this initial adventure, Stoney and a friend find themselves on an unexpected adventure requiring the apprehension of a snowy owl – a feat they attempt using a most unusual technique.
The captivating cover illustration and interior artwork is by Mark’s long-time friend and educator, Kristin Towne.
Mark is scheduled to join us with his raptors again this year for Adirondack Kids Day™ and this time he will take part in the event’s Author’s Fair as well!
For more information on Mark Manske, his brand new book, and even on how you can help band saw-whet owls in the fall, visit www.adirondackraptors.org
© 2018 Adirondack Kid Press, Ltd.